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Atonement

By Gina Mae Callen

Drama / Mystery

Prologue

Their last case had just finished up with Callen being injured. It had been four days and the doctor had reluctantly decided to let Callen leave the hospital.

As usual, Deeks was waiting for him. 

Although Sam was his partner, Since Deeks had found out about his shared past with Callen they had been making a point to spend time together and Deeks had called Sam saying it was their regular night to go out anyway so he would pick up Callen.

Deeks grinned as he saw Callen walk out of the LA medical center his bag slung low over his shoulder.

"Hey, you still wanna go out tonight or just take it easy Cal?" Deeks asked.

Callen could not shake the headache he had been nursing since the day he had gotten concussion. "I'm thinking of heading home kiddo." Callen said tiredly he still had a bruise the size of an egg on the side of his head.

Deeks drove on while Callen stared out of the window.

"You sure the doctor signed you out?" Deeks asked concerned at the lack of conversation coming from Callen.

"Yep…Good as new." Callen smiled, with that, 'yeah I'm lying but you don't dare do anything about it' smirk.

Deeks rolled his eyes, "Hetty said to rest and she'll see you tomorrow." He told him as he pulled up outside Callen's house.

"Sure." Callen replied absentmindedly as he walked up to his door. 

He watched as Deeks drove off and dropped his bag on the floor, turned around and walked out.


For the last four days, he had been seeing a woman at night and he had arranged to meet her again.

He had no idea, well that was a lie he knew exactly why, he was obsessed with this woman and a part of him knew he should get Eric to run a background check, but he could not ask. A part of him was not even sure she was real.

He had woken up the first night he had had concussion, taken a walk in the hospital, and had ended up on the roof.

He liked the peace and quiet the hospital roof afforded him.

As he opened the door, he had seen her leaning against the corner ledge one leg dangling off the roof the other safely on the other side, tears slowly sliding down her cheeks.

"Em!" he had said, not helping it as the word slipped out of his lips as the sight of her blonde hair blowing in the wind.

She turned and looked at him.

"How do you know my name?" she asked.

"I…" Callen had been struck dumb.

For a second he thought she was Emily Brandel, Deeks' big sister who had died when they were teenagers and she had been carrying his child.

The woman turned and looked at him, "I know you." She said.

"Emmy Brandel?" he asked, feeling scared that maybe she was a ghost.

"Emma Brantov…Brandel was my fathers name….Who are you?" she asked.

Callen had taken a step back and fallen onto his butt.

"I'm Callen…I work with your brother." He said as she moved to help him up, he jolted as he felt a spark from her hand.

"My brother's dead," Emma said flatly. "They're all dead….but I heard your name…I hear voices sometimes and I've heard the name Cal...Or was it Caleb…" she drifted off into her own world her tears flowing again.

Callen could not help himself and he crossed the space between them and held her in his arms. "Em, it's ok." He said that as she melted into his embrace, he kissed her head.

They stayed holding each other until the sun came up and then the first night they parted ways with a promise to meet there the next night.

Each night they had met on the roof, Emma refusing to tell Callen what she was in hospital for and he not pushing.

They talked about their childhood and Callen told her about Marty and Emily. Although she would still be upset and refused to believe that Marty was still alive when he talked about him until Callen had shown her a photo taken of them both last Christmas. She in return told him about how she had been fostered by a family called the Brantov's who had adopted her when she was 15.

Eventually, he knew he had to leave the hospital.

Sam had been surprised when he had refused to sign himself out AMA as he always did and had insisting on staying in and using his medical leave. However, secretly he had been pleased that Callen had done so.

Just before he left, Callen had stopped by the nurse's station to ask about Emma and had been shocked when he was told that there was no Emma Brantov registered at the hospital, flashing his badge he had asked to see the security footage of the roof where they had spent their nights. Although Callen was seen, coming and going there had been no sign of Emma.

This had unnerved him, which was why he had allowed Deeks to be the one to pick him up as he was guaranteed not to fuss over him like a mother hen, and he needed to get back to the hospital he needed to find her.

He had, for the first time in living memory, taken all of his sick leave, voluntarily. Hetty had been suspicious, but as Callen was starting to look better, she didn't push it. All he had told her was that he would text every day but he needed a complete break from his team.


Emma and Callen spent the next month, becoming closer and falling for each other.

Over the next six months, they had grown steadily closer, but Emma had still refused to meet Marty or allow Callen to tell the team about her, which if he had to admit it, was fine with him. This was his…something that was not work, not anyone else's to share and for the first time ever Callen had a relationship that was just his alone.

The only difference anyone noticed at work was that he was mellower; he relaxed more and laughed with the team more.

No one complained because everyone liked it.


One morning he came in happier than he had been in ages, he walked over to Hetty's office and dropped a piece of paper on her desk.

"Good Morning Mr. Callen, What's this?" She asked

"Vacation request form." He said not giving anything away. "Just want the week."

Hetty looked surprised in all the years Callen had worked for NCIS he had never voluntarily taken his vacation, usually she had to order him to go.

"When?" She asked looking down at the paper.

"Today, we have no active cases right now. I just need a break." He said.

Hetty looked at him suspiciously.

"Very well, but stay reachable in case of emergency."

"No…One week Hetty, no calls no cases no visits nothing." Callen insisted.

"At least call in halfway through so we know you're safe."

Callen capitulated, signed the form, and watched as Hetty did the same.

"Have a nice vacation!" Hetty called as Callen stepped down from her office and picked up his bag.

He smiled at the others as he walked out.

Two days later, in a small wedding chapel in Vegas Callen and a four-month pregnant, Emma were married.

They had discussed telling the team, but both of the came to the conclusion that keeping her a secret meant keeping her safe. After losing Emily that was his number one priority.

Emma knew how Callen had felt about Emily and that she looked exactly like her twin, but both of them knew this was different. Callen knew that between him and Deeks, this would be a time bomb, but Emma was still insistent she didn't want to upset Deeks by telling him.


On returning to work, Callen was more rested and Sam even found him easier to get on with. Occasionally Callen would get a call that Sam assumed was Arkady as he always took the call in Russian. A language Emma knew from her adoptive parents.

Callen sat in the bullpen working on his paperwork and he phone rang.

"Привет меде как самочувствие?" Callen said.

He waited and listened to the woman on the other end.

"Я вернусь через несколько часов вам нужен что-либо? ... Действительно! Фу!" he said and made a gagging noise and laughed,

"Fine I'll get it…. Я тебя." he finished the call and wrote peanut butter ice cream on his pad.

Sam looked at him that was definitely not Arkady.

"G, are you ok?" Sam asked.

"Sure Sam I'm fine, gotta leave soon, I have somewhere to be."

"G are you working an undercover case?" Sam asked concerned for his partner.

"Nope, just organizing my weekend." Callen said.

All four of them finished off their paperwork with Sam sneaking glances at Callen, who grabbed his bag and left half an hour later.

Sam turned to the other two. "Do you two know what's going on with him?" he asked.

Deeks and Kensi shook their heads, "Nope, although for the last few months he's not been coming out for drinks or hanging out at the beach. Not since his vacation….do you think he's on an undercover op?" Deeks asked.

"Haven't got a clue….but I do intend to find out." Sam vowed.

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